Dr. Darren L. Whitfield is an assistant professor of social work and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social and Department of Psychiatry, and Direct Practice Chair. As a researcher, his scholarship focuses on the areas of psychosocial, sociocultural, and structural factors associated with health outcomes for gay and bisexual men of color, systems of oppression on health outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities, and intersectional social identities for LGBTQ communities. Currently, Dr. Whitfield is studying the role of social and psychosocial factors on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use among gay and bisexual men of color. He currently serves on the editorial board for the journal Prevention Science and Scholars for the HIV Prevention Trial Network.
In addition to his research, Dr. Whitfield teaches at the School of Social Work’s BASW and MSW program, including Introduction to Social Work Research Methods, Social Work Practice with Diverse Populations, and Human Sexuality. Dr. Whitfield has more than 10 years of practice experience working in the HIV/AIDS field working at the AIDS Project of Central Iowa, The Virginia Department of Health, and The Kansas City Free Health Clinic. In his spare time, he volunteers with several agencies serving LGBTQ communities. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for the Persad Center, the second oldest LGBTQ Community Center, the advisory board for the AIDS Free Pittsburgh Taskforce, and a commissioner for the Pittsburgh City Commission on AIDS.
Dr. Whitfield conducts research on several key health areas. His primary research focus is on understanding the impact of psychosocial, sociocultural, and structural factors on HIV acquisition and care outcomes for gay, bisexual, queer, and same-gender-loving (GBQSGL) men of color. Furthermore, his scholarship focuses on role of systems of oppression on health outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, understanding the importance of intersectional social identities and the impact of identity on health disparities for LGBTQ individuals. His goal is to develop intersectional measures of identity, interventions that address psychosocial, sociocultural, and structural factors associated with disproportionate rates of HIV infection among GBQSGL men of color and policy changes that eliminate structural discrimination for LGBTQ communities.
Selected Funded Grants
Co-Principal Investigator, Darren Whitfield. The Effect of Partner Characteristics on Sexual Risk Taking among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men. Funder: Public Good Grant Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning at the University of Denver.
Minority Fellowship Program, Council on Social Work Education
Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity Scholarship Award, Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity, Council on Social Work Education
Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression (SOGE) Scholarship Award, Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression, Council on Social Work Education
Mentoring Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania Center for AIDS Research
Kattari, S. K., Whitfield, D. L., Walls, N.E., Ramos, D. & Langenderfer-Magruder, L. (2016). Policing gender through housing and employment discrimination: Differential risk within the LGBTQ community. Journal of the Society for Social Work Research, doi: 10.1086/686920
Langenderfer-Magruder, L., Walls, N.E., Kattari, S.K., Whitfield, D. L., & Ramos, D. (2016). Sexual victimization and subsequent police reporting by gender identity among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer adults. Violence and Victims, 31(2),
Kattari, S. K., Walls, N.E., Whitfield, D. L. & Langenderfer-Magruder, L. (2015). Racial and ethnic differences in experiences of discrimination in accessing health services among transgender people. International Journal of Transgenderism, 16 (2), 68-79, doi: 10.1080/15532739.2015.1064336
Langenderfer-Magruder, L., Walls, N. E., Whitfield, D. L., Brown, S. M., & Barrett, C. (2015). Partner violence among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth: Associations among risk factors. Child and Adolescent Social Work, 33(1), 55-68 doi: 10.1007/s10560-015-0402-8
Langenderfer Magruder, L., Whitfield D. L., Walls, N.E., Kattari, S.K., & Ramos, D. (2014). Experiences of intimate partner violence and subsequent police reporting among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer adults: Comparing rates of cisgender and transgender victimization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0886260514556767
Whitfield, D.L., Walls, N. E., Langenderfer Magruder, L., & Clark, B. (2014). Queer is the new Black? Not so much: Racial disparities in anti-GLBTQ discrimination. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 26, 426 – 440. doi: 10.1080/10538720.2014.955556